I wonder why memorials are made like consumer goods – for one use only. Memorials should be timeless, and making them this way is like assuming that they won’t last long.

When walking around Wrocław, I could see one of these “consumer-style memorials”. I mean the memorial to the victims of the Katyn Massacre, erected between 1994 and 2000. I was surprised that a city with beautiful traditions could afford such a “wank”.

The pictures show a large number mistakes: the visible deficiency of the cover, badly fitted elements, unglazed plates, uneven edges. Even the glue in the grout is smeared like tar on the paper. In addition, the cover is too narrow, so the side façade panel is surely going to fall off soon. And it seems that falling off slabs is a well-known problem for those who are in charge of maintaining the memorial. On the internet, I came across photos in which the author accidentally managed to capture a truly pitiful sight: the unstuck slabs are standing leaning against the memorial (photo from 2006, Hardly any surprise since they were not anchored.

Perhaps instead of facing slabs it would be cheaper and more aesthetic to construct the whole memorial from block elements?

In the previous text in the series “Is there a better way?” (Kurier Kaminieniarski No. 3/2016) I suggested that information about the authors should be placed on public objects – in line with the wish that authors should finally stop being anonymous. Such a plaque has actually been installed on this memorial. A very solid one, cast in bronze. But in my opinion, it does not contribute to immortal glory of the authors.

Source: Kurier kamieniarski

Author: Bogusław Skolak   |   Published: 22 September 2016